The Game (Queen album)

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The Game
Queen The Game.png
Studio album by
Released30 June 1980
RecordedJune-July 1979, February- May 1980
StudioMusicland, Munich, West Germany
Queen chronology
Live Killers
The Game
Flash Gordon
Singles from The Game
  1. "Crazy Little Thing Called Love"
    Released: 12 October 1979 (UK)[4]
  2. "Save Me"
    Released: 25 January 1980
  3. "Play the Game"
    Released: 30 May 1980 (UK)
  4. "Another One Bites the Dust"
    Released: 22 August 1980 (UK)
  5. "Need Your Loving Tonight"
    Released: 3 November 1980 (US)[5]

The Game is the eighth studio album by the British rock band Queen. It was released on 30 June 1980 by EMI Records in the UK and by Elektra Records in the US. The Game features a different sound from its predecessor, Jazz (1978). The Game was the first Queen album to use a synthesizer[6] (an Oberheim OB-X).

A critical and commercial success, The Game became the only Queen album to reach No. 1 in the US, and also became their best-selling studio album in the US, with four million copies sold to date, tying with the sales for News of the World. Notable songs on the album include the bass-driven "Another One Bites the Dust" and the rockabilly "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", both of which reached No. 1 in the US. Reissued in May 2003 on DVD-Audio with Dolby 5.1 surround sound and DTS 5.1. The 5.1 mix of "Coming Soon" features an alternate backing track, as the final master tapes could not be found when mixing the album to 5.1.


Side one[edit]

"Play the Game"[edit]

"Play the Game" was written by Freddie Mercury. The song was released as a single in 1980, reaching No. 14 in the UK and No. 42 in the US. The song was performed live from 1980 to 1982.

"Dragon Attack"[edit]

"Dragon Attack" was written by Brian May. The song was a live favourite being performed from 1980 to 1985. On the UK release of "Another One Bites The Dust", it was featured as the B-side. Two remixes of the track were scheduled to feature on the cancelled BASIC Queen Bootlegs 1992 album. The first by Jack Benson and R.A.K. featured as a bonus track on 1991 reissues of The Game. The second was an instrumental remix by Dave Ogilvie. Stylistically, Dragon Attack is a funk rock song.[7]

"Another One Bites the Dust"[edit]

"Another One Bites the Dust" was written by John Deacon. The song is known as a funk song and was released as a single at the suggestion of American singer Michael Jackson, who was a huge fan of the group and would often see them in concert when they came to Los Angeles. "Another One Bites the Dust" was a worldwide success reaching No. 1 in America and many other countries and in the UK it reached No. 7. After the success of the song, Queen recorded Hot Space, which was a more disco album. It is credited as Queen's best selling single, having sold 7 million copies worldwide. The song was played live from 1980 until the last tour with Mercury in 1986. Part of this song was performed during Queen medley songs by Extreme on The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert in 1992.

"Need Your Loving Tonight"[edit]

"Need Your Loving Tonight" was written by Deacon. The song was released as a single in November 1980 and reached number 44 in the United States. The song was also played frequently during The Game Tour in 1980 and then less frequently in 1981, but was not played live thereafter.[8]

"Crazy Little Thing Called Love"[edit]

"Crazy Little Thing Called Love" was written by Mercury while lounging in a bubble bath in the Bayerischer Hof Hotel in Munich, where Queen were staying during the making of The Game. In addition to playing guitar on the record, Mercury also played guitar in concert. The song peaked at No. 2 in the UK and No. 1 in the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States for four consecutive weeks. "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" also peaked at No. 1 in Australia, Canada, Mexico and Netherlands. The song has been covered by many artists. "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" and "Another One Bites The Dust" were Queen's only No. 1 singles in the United States.

Side two[edit]

"Rock It (Prime Jive)"[edit]

"Rock It (Prime Jive)" was written by Roger Taylor. The song begins with Mercury singing the intro and then Taylor sings the rest of the song. The song was only performed live in North and South America, and in Japan, during The Game and Hot Space Tours respectively.

"Don't Try Suicide"[edit]

"Don't Try Suicide" was written by Mercury, and is Mercury's third and final song on the album. The song has never been performed live. The song was the B-side on the American release of "Another One Bites the Dust". In 1992, DJ Muggs remixed the track for inclusion on the later cancelled BASIC Queen Bootlegs compilation.

"Sail Away Sweet Sister"[edit]

"Sail Away Sweet Sister (To the Sister I Never Had)" was written by May and features him on lead vocals. The bridge was sung by Mercury. The song was recorded in June/July 1979. It has never been performed live by Queen, but has been by Guns N' Roses and by Brian May himself during the Another world tour in 1998. The song was sampled by Das EFX on their 1998 track "Change" from the album Generation EFX.[citation needed]

The song has also been on compilation albums Deep Cuts, Volume 2 (1977-1982) and Queen Forever.

"Coming Soon"[edit]

"Coming Soon" was written by Taylor. Mercury and Taylor share lead vocals. The song had been started during the Jazz sessions.

"Save Me"[edit]

"Save Me" was written by May, in tribute to a friend whose marriage had recently ended. May played most of the instruments on the track including acoustic and electric guitars, piano and synthesizer. The song was performed live from 1979 to 1982. When live the song features a short piano entrance absent from the studio version. The song peaked at No. 11 in the UK Singles Chart.


The photo on the cover of the EMI CD is different from that originally used on the LP and cassette release, even though the Hollywood CD still has the original photo. The original photo (with Roger Taylor having folded arms and Brian May not having a hand resting upon his exposed hip) is shown in the article. This alternate photo was also used on the cover of the album in the Crown Jewels box set released in 1998, and on the DTS DVD-Audio edition of the album released in 2003.



Professional ratings
Review scores
Chicago Tribune[9]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music[10]
The Guardian[11]
Record Mirror[12]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[13]
Smash Hits3/10[14]

Record Mirror wrote in a contemporary review, "After Zeppelin and even before the Scorpions, Queen are the most exciting band I've ever seen or heard. And I'm sure all you lovers of quality music will agree."[12] Rolling Stone felt that it was "nice to hear a Queen album with songs, not 'anthems'," but opined that "these guys know how this music should sound and feel, but they can't bend enough to get with it."[16] The Washington Post gave a scathing review, writing: "After five years of unchallenging, dismal albums, this was supposed to be Queen's comeback. But no such luck."[17] Steve Taylor, writing for Smash Hits, was equally as dismissive, writing "sandwiched between two slabs of Queen's usual symphonic and/or choral pomp-rock [...] lies a filling of utterly unoriginal corn".[14]

Creem readers voted The Game the seventh greatest album of 1980.[18] At the Grammy Awards in 1981, Queen and Mack were nominated for Producer of the Year (Non-Classical) while "Another One Bites the Dust" was nominated for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. Queen received an American Music Award nomination for Favorite Pop/Rock Band/Duo/Group, while "Another One Bites the Dust" received the award for Favorite Pop/Rock Single.[19]

In a retrospective review, AllMusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine said that the album's "disco rock blends" showed a band that has "turned away from rock and toward pop", "turning decidedly, decisively pop, and it's a grand, state-of-the-art circa 1980 pop album that still stands as one of the band's most enjoyable records."[2] AllMusic would go on to name The Game as Queen's best album of the 1980s.[20] Evan Sawdey of PopMatters called The Game a "regular ol' rock album".[1] In 2008, Out ranked the album number 28 of 100 in a poll of "more than 100 actors, comedians, musicians, writers, critics, performance artists, label reps, and DJs, asking each to list the ten albums that left the most indelible impressions on their lives."[21]

Band appraisal[edit]

Yeah, that was when we started trying to get outside what was normal for us. Plus we had a new engineer in Mack and a new environment in Munich. Everything was different. We turned our whole studio technique around in a sense, because Mack had come from a different background from us. We thought there was only one way of doing things, like doing backing tracks: We would just do it until we got it right. If there were some bits where it speeded up or slowed down, then we would do it again until it was right. We had done some of our old backing tracks so many times, they were too stiff. Mack's first contribution was to say, "Well you don't have to do that. I can drop the whole thing in. If it breaks down after half a minute, then we can edit in and carry on if you just play along with the tempo". We laughed and said "Don't be silly. You can't do that". But in fact, you can. What you gain is the freshness, because often a lot of the backing tracks is first time though. It really helped a lot. There was less guitar on that album, but that's really not going to be the same forever; that was just an experiment.

— Brian May[22]

Track listing[edit]

All lead vocals by Freddie Mercury unless noted.

Side one
1."Play the Game"Freddie Mercury3:30
2."Dragon Attack"Brian May4:18
3."Another One Bites the Dust"John Deacon3:35
4."Need Your Loving Tonight"Deacon2:50
5."Crazy Little Thing Called Love"Mercury2:42
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
6."Rock It (Prime Jive)"Roger TaylorRoger Taylor with Mercury4:33
7."Don't Try Suicide"Mercury 3:52
8."Sail Away Sweet Sister"MayBrian May with Mercury3:33
9."Coming Soon"TaylorMercury with Taylor2:51
10."Save Me"May 3:48
Total length:35:42
Bonus track (1991 Hollywood Records CD reissue)
11."Dragon Attack" (1991 bonus remix by R.A.K. and Jack Benson)4:19
Total length:40:01
Disc 2: Bonus EP (2011 Universal Music CD reissue)
1."Save Me" (Live at the Montreal Forum, November 1981) 4:18
2."A Human Body" (B-side to "Play The Game")Taylor[23]3:44
3."Sail Away Sweet Sister" (Take 1 with guide vocal, February 1980) 2:34
4."It's a Beautiful Day" (Original spontaneous idea, April 1980)Mercury[24]1:31
5."Dragon Attack" (Live at the Milton Keynes Bowl, June 1982) 5:15
Total length:17:22
Bonus videos (2011 iTunes deluxe edition)
6."Vocal Improv/Dragon Attack" (Live at Morumbi Stadium, Sao Paulo, March 1981[25][26])5:02
7."Save Me" (Live at Seibu Lions Stadium, Tokyo, November 1982[27])3:56
8."Crazy Little Thing Called Love" (Saturday Night Live, September 1982[28])3:58
Total length:29:38



  • Freddie Mercury – lead vocals (1-5, 7, 9, 10), co-lead vocals (6, 8), backing vocals (all tracks), piano (1, 7, 8), synthesizer (1), acoustic guitar (5)
  • Brian May – electric guitar (all tracks), backing vocals (1, 2, 4-8, 10), acoustic guitar (7, 8, 10), synthesizer (8, 10), piano (10), lead vocals (8)
  • Roger Taylor – drums (all tracks), backing vocals (all but 3), electric guitar (6, 9), synthesizer (6, 9), lead vocals (6, "A Human Body"), co-lead vocals (9), percussion
  • John Deacon – bass guitar (all tracks), electric guitar (3), acoustic guitar (4), piano (3), percussion (3)

Additional musician


Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Argentina (CAPIF)[49] 2× Platinum 120,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[50] Gold 25,000*
Brazil 130,000[51]
Canada 500,000[52]
Denmark (IFPI Danmark)[53] Gold 10,000double-dagger
Germany (BVMI)[54] Gold 250,000^
Italy (FIMI)[55]
sales since 2009
Gold 25,000double-dagger
Netherlands (NVPI)[56] Gold 50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[57] Gold 7,500^
Poland (ZPAV)[58]
2008 Agora SA album reissue
Platinum 20,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[59] Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[60] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[61] 4× Platinum 4,000,000^

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.


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External links[edit]